Desperados Beer: Surf Up the Summer


Client: Desperados beer
Category: Alcohol & Tobacco
Agency: Click
Country: Vietnam
Year: 2015


Campaign Summary

The goal of Desperados beer’s “Surf Up the Summer” campaign was to leverage its market’s summer seasonal partying mentality and deliver the brand’s characteristics of being distinctive, refreshing and wild. The challenge was in bridging the gap between digital’s potential mass reach and building intimate offline activation engagement to drive product trials. Since summer holidays mark times for travel and enjoyment in general, Desperados aimed to leverage this seasonal timing to communicate its characteristics and encourage the brand’s target audience of young adults to enjoy life by releasing the wild side within.

Objective and Context

Desperados’ key objectives for 2015 were to continue building brand awareness and increase trial.

The media the brand chose were digital, along with below-the-line activations at beer clubs, which have seen an explosion in popularity within the last couple of years with the Vietnamese as the place to party. Desperados aimed to own the segment as the “Beer for Party” with communication crafted to support this proposition.

Vietnam’s coastlines are renowned for their beautiful beaches and more recently for their wild summer beach parties enjoyed by liberated youths. With this in mind, Desperados also wanted to engage users via events where participants’ attitudes reflect the brand’s wild expressions.

”Surf Up the Summer” was targeted toward young Vietnamese adults ages 18 and 24 who, unsurprisingly. are the partying generation.

Creative Strategy

Digital was the key platform in driving users to offline activations and events, by using it to distribute viral social content. It was also used to leverage the influential voices of the audience’s key opinions leaders.

Desperados came to find that an element of its campaign was missing. A direct and intimate medium was needed to communicate the details of its parties, which were intended to drive product trials. This led the brand to use mobile, and more specifically, a casual gaming platform for social gamers; it came in the form of the “Surf Up the Summer” game.

The social mobile game synced naturally with Facebook, which is Vietnam’s no. 1 social media platform. It allowed players to compete for Desperados’ products and branded prizes, and interact with one another, both in the “Surf Up the Summer” application and live on their Facebook accounts. Current players could not only feed on each other’s social egos, but also let other Facebook users gain knowledge of the game and be players themselves.

The production and promotional budget for the “Surf Up the Summer” mobile game was less than one percent of the overall campaign budget. The main reasons behind this small budget allocation were the risks of investing in such a new medium and the fact the brand had not used this engagement mechanism in the past.

It promoted product trials by gift redemptions straight from the application and allowed an intimate and direct line of communication for event notifications and invitations, driving users to offline engagement. These factors could only be achieved by an omnipresent and intimate medium – and that medium could only be mobile.


The “Surf Up the Summer” campaign reached nearly three million digital users -- which was almost three times the committed KPIs -- within three months. The campaign also obtained meaningful engagement with almost 300,000 users, doubling committed KPIs in this category, most of which followed through to offline engagement and product trials.

The campaign was a big success with Desperados’ digital engagement, far exceeding that in other markets. The average of 0.1 percent from May to July was far surpassed in Vietnam, where it was 3.9 percent during the same period.

Brand awareness doubled during the campaign in comparison with previous months, while the campaign delivered on the most important metric of all: sales. Sell outs of the product increased by 65 percent.

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